Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been accelerating the revolution in the automobile industry and is already leading several electric vehicle (EV) markets around the globe. Canada is one of the recent industries where the automaker’s premium sedan, the Model S, powered the overall EV sales in 2015.
According to InsideEvs, FleetCarma data indicates that the Canadian plug-in EV posted a staggering growth of more than 32% year-over-year (YoY) last year, compared to a 5% decline in the US. EV registrations increased from 5,245 in 2014 to 6,933 in 2015. Global EV sales as a percentage of overall automobile sales have been less than 1%, implying that the green-energy transition has just initiated. Since 1.9 million vehicles were sold in Canada last year, EVs account for mere 0.36% of the overall market.
Sole reason for such solid performance was Tesla Model S, the world’s most successful luxury electric sedan. With 2,010 unit sales in 2015, the Tesla car became the top player in the Canadian industry, similar to the US industry. The car was also the top selling plug-in car in nine out of 12 months last year.
Additionally, Model S reported the highest growth among its closest competitors, General Motors Company’s (NYSE:GM) Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan LEAF. Model S sales jumped over 137% YoY from 847 unit sales in 2014. Conversely, LEAF sales mounted roughly 23% to 1,427 and Chevy Volt’s sales declined about 8% to 1,538.
Since Tesla’s most popular product has one of the best travelling ranges of at least 250 miles on a single recharge, with 17 Superchargers and 235 Destination Charging locations, it has been thriving in Canada’s harsh climate. Short-range battery-driven cars are greatly affected by range-eating heating. However, Nissan is working on a superior, 107-mile range version of LEAF, which could drive its sales this year.
Moreover, while Ontario has generously upped rebates on EV sales, vehicles retailing between $75,000 and $150,000 would receive just $3,000 as incentive. Model S buyers received $8,500 in rebates last year, implying that $5,500 of that amount in 2016 will go to Nissan LEAF and Chevy Volt, whose buyers got $11,877 in incentives in 2015. 2017 Bolt EV, with 200 mile range, has already become the first EV to qualify for $14,000 in rebates.
Tesla has eight Stores & Galleries and six Service Centers across Canada. With lower government incentives this year, CEO Elon Musk must find another way to boost its sales in the country this year, as he ramps up production of the recently launched SUV, the Model X. As of December 2015, there were 3,590 Model S in Canada, representing 19% of the green-vehicle market (EV + hybrids).